April 10, 2012
Anti-Trust: Protect Yourself and ASPR
ASPR has an Antitrust Policy (below) that all members should familiarize themselves with. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that our association and its members abide by federal antitrust laws. A recent article in the fall issue of JASPR covers the relevant issues as they relate to you and ASPR. Below are some excerpts from this article that are especially relevant to the discussion of physician compensation details on Chat. ASPR requests that our members not discuss provider compensation on the Chat listserv and recommends utilizing compensation surveys from trusted publishers as a source for reliable and legally defensible compensation data. Chat may be used to find out what surveys your colleagues recommend, but please do not share specific compensation data via Chat.
When two or more persons or companies who would be natural competitors in the market agree on a price, range of prices, discounts to offer, profit levels from items sold, or production levels, they are committing a per se antitrust violation. It is a per se violation regardless if it is the price they are agreeing to pay or the price they are agreeing to charge. Even agreeing on “boiler-plate” contractual items that affect the price indirectly can rise to the level of a violation. The prices/price cuts need not be identical to raise a suspicion of price-fixing.
The “rules” of a Listserve should prohibit messages about prices, pricing strategies, restrictions on advertising, maintaining the profitability of a profession or industry, terms or conditions of sale, minimizing discounts, gifts or promotions, salaries, profits, profit margins, cost data, market share, sales territories, customers or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.
Apparently innocent listserve discussions asking about what or how others charge for particular services, or comments about the pricing and business practices of others could be construed as a conversation intended to encourage a conspiracy (agreement) to fix prices, encourage a boycott or otherwise illegally restrict trade.
Please familiarize yourself and abide by the ASPR Anti-Trust Policy below.
ASPR Antitrust Policy
To ensure awareness with federal antitrust laws and minimize the possibility of antitrust problems for our Association, the following guidelines should be followed at all times that the Association gathers; including meetings of the Board of Directors and committees, meetings of the members of the Association, web-chats or other electronic forums, as well as all association-sponsored conventions, trade shows, training seminars, conferences, and task force and working group sessions.
- DO NOT discuss your prices or competitors’ prices with a competitor (except when buying from or selling to that competitor) or anything might affect prices such as costs, discounts, terms of sale, or profit margins.
- DO NOTagree with competitors to uniform terms of sale, warranties, or contract provisions.
- DO NOTagree with competitors to allocate, divide or otherwise distinguish customers or territories.
- DO NOTact jointly with one or more competitors to put another competitor at a disadvantage or adversely affect that competitor’s marketplace.
- DO NOTtry to prevent your supplier from selling to your competitor.
- DO NOTdiscuss your future pricing, marketing, or policy plans with competitors.
- DO NOTdiscuss your customers with your competitors.
- DO NOTmake statements about your future plans regarding pricing, expansion, or other policies with competitive overtones. Do not participate in discussions where other members make such statements.
- DO NOTpropose or agree to any standardization which will injure your competitor.
- DOalert association staff and legal counsel to anything improper.
- DOsend copies to an association staff member of any communications or documents sent, received, or developed by you when acting on behalf of the association.
- DOalert every employee in your company who deals with the association to these guidelines.
- DObe alert to antitrust issues. If you feel an activity might be improper, ask for guidance from association staff or legal counsel in advance.
Do You Have Creative Flair?
We know you do! Whether you’ve had ideas on articles that you wish JASPR would publish or have the creative writing flair to write the articles yourself, we want to hear from you! The Journal of ASPR (JASPR) provides you with cutting edge information, best practices, and industry trends that help you stay on top of your game.The Journal Committee is always looking for new articles and topic ideas. If you would like to submit an article or idea for JASPR, please contact one of the editors at email@example.com. Our next deadline is June 1 for the Summer issue.
JASPR Feature: Anti-Kickback and the “One Purpose Test”
By Jesse Berg, JD, MPH, Gray Plant Mooty/Health Law Group, Minneapolis, MN, firstname.lastname@example.org. Reprinted by permission of the author.
In a recent case, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined four other judicial circuits in adopting the “one purpose test” for assessing business arrangements under the Anti-kickback Statute (AKS). This test provides that if any “one purpose” of an arrangement is to induce or reward referrals reimbursable by federal health care programs, the AKS has been violated. Viewed in light of the changes 2010’s Affordable Care Act (the ACA) made to the AKS, along with increased enforcement by regulators and skyrocketing numbers of False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by qui tam whistleblowers, proactive efforts to ensure compliance with the AKS have never been more vital.
Read More: Anti-Kickback and the “One Purpose Test”
Question of the Week: Physician Stress and Burnout
This week’s Question of the Week is: Does your organization have any programs in place that address physician stress and/or burnout?
Thank you to all of you who participated in last week’s “Question of the Week.” There were 38 respondents and the results of the survey were:
Do you provide training to the physicians within the practices that you recruit for to help them improve their interviewing skills and process?
|ASPR Live Webinar Series — The Doc Whisperer: the Art and Science of Engaging Physicians
Details and Registration
|ASPR Live Webinar Series — Looking at the Past to Predict the Future: Using Behavioral Interviewing to Find the Right Candidate Match
Details and Registration
|ASPR 2012 Annual Conference Begins
View ASPR Weekly Archive